3 Reasons to Choose Israel for Stage IV Breast Cancer Treatment
Breast cancer is the world’s most prevalent type of cancer, and in 2020 alone, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with the malignancy, which also caused 685,000 deaths globally.
Breasts are made of many different types of tissues, including fatty tissue, glands, ducts, lobes, lobules, and lymph nodes. Breast cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow and divide uncontrollably and eventually form a tumor. About 80% of all breast cancer cases start in the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma), and about 10% of cases originate in the glands or lobes that produce milk (lobular carcinoma).
To help determine the prognosis and choose the best course of treatment, breast cancer cases are delineated into stages on a scale of 0 through IV. The stage of the malignancy is determined by the cancer’s characteristics, such as how large it is and whether or not it has hormone receptors:
- Stage 0 describes non-invasive cancers that remain within their original location,
- Stage I breast cancer tumors are still relatively small, and either have not spread to the lymph nodes or have only spread into a tiny area in the sentinel lymph node.
- Stage II breast cancers are either larger than stage I tumors, have spread to a few nearby lymph nodes, or both.
- Stage III tumors are either larger still, have spread into nearby tissues (such as the skin over the breast or the muscle underneath), or have spread to many nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage IV is an invasive form of the malignancy that has spread outside the breast to other parts of the body. Accordingly, stage IV breast cancer treatments are usually systematic.
In most cases, when not detected or left untreated, breast cancer becomes invasive and spreads through the lining of the milk ducts into the surrounding breast tissue, which complicates treatment. In contrast, when the malignancy remains local and is detected early, the success rate of treatment is exceedingly high.
While about 1 in 8 women worldwide develops breast cancer at one point in their lives, the fatality rates of the disease have been dropping steadily for the past 30 years. The driving force behind this positive trend is precise early screening techniques and innovative treatments.
At Sheba Medical Cancer Center, we make the latest mammography tools available to our patients as part of metastatic breast cancer treatment and use state-of-the-art imaging and other diagnostic techniques to find and classify the malignancy before it can spread.
Stage IV Breast Cancer Treatment
Stage IV breast cancer treatment can be approached in several different ways, which is why at Sheba Medical Center, our multidisciplinary team of top breast cancer doctors collaborate to plan each patient’s comprehensive therapy. For women with stage IV breast cancer, systemic therapies are the main treatments.
Stage IV breast cancer treatment options include one or a combination of the following techniques:
- Chemotherapy, either conventional or targeted (biological treatment).
- Immunotherapy, which can stimulate the patient’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively.
- Hormone therapy, which can reduce the risk of breast cancer returning after surgery.
- Surgical removal of tumors.
- Radiation therapy, often used along with other treatments.
Life After Breast Cancer – Reconstructive Surgery
At Sheba Medical Center, the overall well-being of each individual is prioritized by a holistic approach to healthcare, so stage IV breast cancer treatment doesn’t end once the therapies are over and the cancer has gone into remission. Recovering breast cancer patients are offered reconstructive surgery, which incorporates revolutionary techniques, such as skin-sparing mastectomy and the “microvascular tissue flap,” which optimizes the natural appearance of reconstructed breasts.
Benefits of Getting Stage IV Breast Cancer Treatment in Israel
- Advanced Treatment: Medical institutions in Israel and the US often collaborate in advanced cancer research, developing new and effective treatments against the disease, yet Israel has fewer constraints than the US when it comes to adopting novel therapies. Israeli clinical trials still adhere to the highest safety standards, but innovative treatments are generally made available to patients sooner than in the US.
- Quality of Care: Israeli physicians are exceptionally well-trained and often spend even more time on their medical education than American doctors. Also, you can be assured of high standards and strict safety regulations if you choose a hospital accredited by a trustworthy authority.
- Cost: In many countries, healthcare costs can be exorbitant. Without insurance, the costs of cancer treatment can be crippling. Prices are much lower in Israel, averaging 30-80% less than in the US, for example. That said, you’re not trading affordability for quality, since Israeli specialists, medical institutions, equipment, and procedures are among the most advanced in the world.
Where to Pursue Treatment in Israel?
Having discovered a few of the many advantages of getting stage IV breast cancer treatment in Israel, where exactly should you pursue it? Sheba Medical Center is an exceptional choice. One of the 10 best hospitals in the world according to Newsweek magazine, Sheba is dedicated to providing patients with world-class medical care.
The advantages of receiving treatment at Sheba Medical Center include:
- Sheba sees over 4,000 breast cancer patients yearly and performed approximately 12,000 mammograms, 51,000 ultrasounds, 3,200 MRIs, and 2,500 biopsies to date: providing its physicians with vast professional experience.
- As a government institution, we have no hidden costs, and our fees are transparent. Although we offer advanced treatments available only in select medical institutions around the world, our prices are affordable.
- Sheba treats each patient as a unique individual, personalizing every therapy program.
- Sheba’s 360-degree care approach to every patient means that Sheba’s professionals will assist you with arranging medical record reviews, travel, visas, accommodations, and language interpretation as needed.
- Sheba has full accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI), the premier international healthcare accrediting group.
- Sheba has both advanced treatment and laboratory facilities. At Sheba, patients receive every aspect of their treatment in a single facility.
- Our physicians are actively involved in the latest research and application of progressive treatments.